COVID-19 & its Mental Health Consequences #Vol.1

Surveys 🧠 from various countries + published 🔬 + China 🇨🇳 + What’s working 🔐

☘️ Hello! I was very torn for a few weeks, between - releasing evident but triggering information VS feel-good, relatable, helpful takeaways for the reader. But, I realized that I really want to learn about current affairs to then delve in the future about business models, product, personal development, solutions/apps, startups, pioneers and spirituality :)

💌 If you’re curious to learn: Data about the COVID impact on our 🧠 ; What does the future hold? ; How China handled it and some self-help solutions, PLEASE read on. But if you feel this is not something you’re prepared for, you’ve been warned!

I would love to hear from you if you work-in or are curious about the Digital MH space! ❤️

📌 Let’s begin. //

2020 MH Surveys and Analysis

(Countries I will cover : 🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇮🇳 🇨🇦)

#United States 🇺🇸

💥The Household Pulse Survey

I played around on the CDC website. My biggest takeaways :

  • Assessment Used: GAD-2 and PHQ-2 were used to determine these self-assessments (will explain what these are in the next section)

  • Main Age Group Affected: Millennial’s were impacted the most

  • Key questions:

    • Why was Gen-Z left out?

    • Why are we not comparing it to past year stats?

    • Why were only three questions asked per assessment?

💥Mental Health America’s report

#United Kingdom 🇬🇧

I won’t lie, it’s been slightly tricky getting statistical data for the UK. But, I got my hands on this piece. Key takeaways :

  • Assessment Used: GHQ-12 was used

  • Main Age Group Affected: Highest toll on 18-24 year olds, followed by women and parents with really young kids

  • Key Contributors: As seen in the above Venn Diagram

  • Key Question: Why is this not for Gen-Z?

#India 🇮🇳

There’s no official report or website I could get my hands on, which isn’t surprising since Mental wellbeing is considered a privilege here. But the above chart made sense judging the socio-demographic setup of India. Key takeaways about India’s MH and less about the impact of COVID-19 :

  • 10% of India’s population have common mental disorders. India’s population is ~1.3 billion. [source]

  • 💡 Out of the 22 languages spoken in India, there isn’t a WORD for “mental health”

#Canada 🇨🇦

  • Assessment Used: GAD-7 + Question about Loneliness, Binge drinking and Depression (from the Center of Epidemiology) [source]

  • Main Age Group Affected: Millennials

  • Key Question: Why is this not for Gen-Z?

  • Key contributors: (Unfortunately, there’s no breakdown for this)

🧐 Sum Analysis

Major population affected:

  • For Gen-Z: Are there any tik-tok, IG, gaming solutions?

  • Children (<10 yo), of various ages need gaming, toys or VR solutions. Know of any?

  • Women are struggling to keep up with work-kids-home-lifestyle: Mom/Parental/Workout/Wine support groups, anyone?

  • Family Welfare : Financial, communal wellness support groups?

  • Minority solutions for the Black, LatinX and Asian-American groups need serious consideration

(If you’re building one or know of one, I’d like to speak to you!)

Assessment Details:

🕯 The Aftermath & Key Research


  • Research about cognitive effects, or possibilities of dementia in COVID Patients (symptomatic or a symptomatic) [source]

  • Are dopamine levels affected? [source] (Yes, this is the neurotransmitter that everyone’s obsessed with, and guess what - It might be affected!)

#Observation :

  • Increase in triggers for mood disorders [source]

  • People struggling with OCD have worsening symptoms [source]

  • Post COVID Stress Disorder?

  • COVID dreams?

#Prediction :

  • Lessons from the 2008 financial crisis :

    • 1% increase in unemployment rates drives a 2% increase in suicide rates

    • Synergistic epidemics : Social isolation, job loss, income inequality, frontline workers, individuals who lost people to COVID

⚡️TELADOC says Men are opening up to get help, maybe? (?) :

Tele-health is being adopted by men (79%) > over women (75%) [source

  • This is apparently striking cause men usually shy away from treatment BUT tele health is helping here (This would be a good data point to drive the Men’s Mental health drive)

  • I’m not sure how legit a stat this is, it’d be best if we compared it to in-person visits, for both genders 

🇨🇳 China : A Case Study

There is very little information available as we all know how secretive they can be, there’s not much allowed to get outside of their borders.

I was curious to learn, since they’re steps ahead of everyone and might even be in the “post-COVID” world.

During the Pandemic [source] :

  • NHC (Care-taking government in China) published several guideline documents for emergency psychological crisis intervention

  • Several assistance hotlines were launched

  • About 72 Online MH surveys were given out using WeChat that targeted medical staff, patients with COVID, students, general and mixed populations in different provinces

  • ^ Above was used to determine allocation of appropriate MH resources

  • 29 Books on MH education were publishes and given for FREE to the public

  • WeChat (Chinese WhatsApp), Weibo (Chinese IG) and TikTok were used to disseminate information

  • Online counseling using WeChat have been established by MH institutions, universities and societies for FREE for 24H a week

  • Self help intervention systems using CBT along with AI programs have also been developed

  • AI is being used for suicide prevention by analysis of messages on Weibo (OMG!)

Challenges :

  • The effectiveness of the above provisions haven’t been published so we don’t know if these actually helped? [source]

  • The stigma and acceptability of MH is a major hindrance in this country. The authors here have some great propositions for the government to handle this [source]

Post-Pandemic :

Kids returning to school experiencing severe anxiety [source] - (How can we help these young tigers? Anyone building in this space?)

I wish there was more published data that other countries use to model upon

🧐 Analysis

  • I guess I’m not very surprised how China has handled the Public Health MH pandemic, after reading their generic COVID-19 response

  • A communist controlled, top-down approach does allow them to control/dictate the dissemination of help/information

  • Nonetheless, the idea of printing books, documents and using Social Media for awareness is something every country could try to adopt

  • Any insights from China? (Eager to learn if you can know of any)

🪴 The Universality of this Pandemic helps us share our pain, in some ways

There’s no denying that each one of us is going through a different yet common sort of struggle, every brain is drawing it’s own funk 🧠

I know it isn’t easy to want to help yourself, I’m well too aware. But sometimes I believe all of us are resilient, in our own unique ways. So I hope you’re able to cheer for yourself in this moment and give yourself enough credit for the same.

Here are some common suggestions that is helping everyone round the world to cope in some way:

// FIN.

✍🏽 I would love to hear from you! ❤️
If you’re looking for certain answers in the MH space, let me know! 🗳